Tag Archives: Suffolk

Desert Island Blogs (2)

I’m thinking.

On the radio programme they used to ask the subject about their early life and such stuff.

Well, my first memories are of living in the middle of a field just outside York. A local farmer had built a bungalow in the middle of the field as a home for his cowman, but had ended up selling it. That would be about 1960-61. Out of all the memories of the time, one that stands out is of someone knocking on the door and asking to use our telephone as he’d broken down. No mobiles in those days, and no fear of strangers. I have more memories, but how many do you want?

The first blog is A Suffolk Lane by Clare Pooley. Clare has been busy recently and my insights into rural Suffolk have been more limited than I would have liked this year. When she has time to post she covers a variety of subjects – church architecture, walking, flowers, East Anglia, family, art and birds. I like East Anglia, and have a whole tribe of in-laws living in Suffolk, so this is a nice relaxing read.

I don’t think I’d be overegging the pudding to call it a rural idyll.

After York, we moved to Blackburn, which wasn’t such a nice place. There was a fascinating canal at the top of our road, which I now know to be the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. It was full of sticklebacks, which I used to net and keep in jam jars. I suppose that’s considered a bad thing these days.

The next selected blog is Salmon Brook Farms, the blog of Lavinia Ross.  Based in Oregon, the foothills of the Cascades, she and her husband grow apples, blueberries, cherries plums, pears, grapes, persimmons, grapes and hazelnuts. This seems a lot of work, even before you consider the music. And the cats, though the cats do help by writing part of the blog. I’ve never had useful cats. Ours just lazed about the place, eating, killing things and looking at me with contempt. That’s an example followed by my kids, though they don’t stalk the garden killing song birds.

In this month’s post she shows us wasps in the blueberries (with an inpressive shot of the nest) and discusses visiting foxes – they have three sorts of fox compared to our one.

Meanwhile Nano the cat has posted pictures of a skull for identification.

At one post a month I will be sitting on my desert island waiting eagerly, which will give me something to look forward to apart from typhoons and another meal of fish and coconut.

After Blackburn we moved in with family in the village of Chatburn, just under Pendle Hill. I was able to go to the same school as my parents and was taught by a teacher who had taught my mother. Here is the link that refers to the bombing raid I have mentioned previously, when my mother had to shelter under her school desk.

My third selection for the day is Notes from the Hinterland by Laurie Graves, author of Maya and the Book of Everything. I’m afraid I haven’t read it as I don’t read Young Adult fiction but it has good reviews so if it’s your sort of thing you could give it a go. It’s interesting to follow her visits to libraries and other events, and to see that books are still very much alive despite digital competition.

The rest of the posts cover things like ice cream, cycling, dining, farmers’ markets, French ancestry and a circus visit.

I’ve always quite liked Maine after watching Murder She Wrote, but it turns out, on consulting Wiki, that the programme is filmed in California, and the real Maine is subject to snow, mud, winter storms and, in summer, excessive heat. There’s always something to learn from a blog…

And when I’m too hot on the Desert Island, I can read the bits of the blog that refer to snow.

Part 3 will follow soon.



Not quite a Grand Tour

Sunday was a bit of a rush because there we a number of things to fit in, including shopping. Due to a late start and roadworks we didn’t quite manage all we intended.

The intention had been to breakfast before nine and get off early. In the end we didn’t have breakfast until after ten, but this was supposed to be a holiday it didn’t matter. If you’re going to rush breakfast you may as well stay at home.

We selected the “All you can eat Continental Breakfast” for £2.99 and turned down the offer of drinks at near enough the same price. After two substantial breakfasts in previous days, and eating out in the evenings with family , we wanted something lighter. Cheap is also good at times.

The man sitting on the next table had the unlimited cooked breakfast – sausage, bacon, mushroom, hash browns, beans, chips, black pudding, tomato and eggs – and then poured tomato ketchup all over it. It was piled so high it looked like you might need oxygen to get to the top, and with all that cholesterol it’s likely that oxygen administered via a mask will figure somewhere in his future.

Note on etiquette: The author of this blog does not condone the use of tomato ketchup before midday, and even then only on chips. It should not be used on breakfasts, and never on bacon, whatever the time. 

So, for £2.99 I had shredded wheat, banana, toast, muffins, butter and marmalade. There were other cereals, other fresh fruit, tinned fruit, things I didn’t recognise (maybe granola?), yoghurt, crumpets, margarine and jam available.

The problem with the system is that you have to do a lot of self-service, including doing your own toast by feeding it through a toaster. You had to do it twice, once to warm it and once to actually brown it. As you can imagine, that could cause some hold-ups, particularity when someone is there doing all the toast for a table of six.

Once that was finished, we got on with the trip. I wanted a picture of Nelson’s column in Lowestoft. It was originally built at a time when this part of the coast was undeveloped, but over the years it has been surrounded by an incongruous collection of commercial buildings. It’s an interesting thing – but not as interesting as the story of its first keeper – which is detailed here.

Coming back from that we managed to get a picture of the old Victorian gasometer.

A detour to Gorleston produced the picture of the onshore lighthouse and the notice that looks like what you would expect if Banksy did a dog fouling notice.

After that we set off for Dunwich – stopping for toilets in Southwold on the way (Yes, I’m getting older!). We didn’t have time to go round Southwold as we had plans for Dunwich, followed by a visit to the St George’s Distillery. The pictures show beach huts and the pier at Southwold and the beach at Dunwich – with Southwold in the north and the Sizewell nuclear power stations to the south.

In the end we got to Dunwich, but had to leave before the museum opened (2-4 pm if you are interested) to get to the distillery. We ended up stuck in roadworks on the way, so by the time we had shopped our day was ended.

That’s the problem with trying to rush round – you miss out on doing things in order to do something else and then find you can’t do that either. Next time we go away we’ll have to make sure that we plan better.